Kofi Annan discusses diversity & peace lecture at Global Centre for Pluralism

Posted on May 24, 2013


John Stackhouse, Globe and Mail Editor-in-Chief, with Kofi Annan, Global Centre for Pluralism, Annual Lecture May 23rd 2013

#kofi annan @mymulticast

Global Centre for Pluralism #Kofi Annan @mymulticast

 The Agakhan @mymulticast

Global Centre for Pluralism The Highness The Agakhan @mymulticast

Global Centre for Pluralism’s Annual Lecture delivered by Kofi Annan. On May 23, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize winner presented his ideas on sectarian division around the world and how diversity may impact peace in the decades to come.

His Highness The Agakhan gave a speech and remarks at the annual lecture welcoming   Kofi Annan discuss  key challenge of the 21st century: 

“I am delighted to welcome all of you to the Global Centre’s second annual Pluralism Lecture. And I am especially honoured to introduce today’s lecturer, Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Nobel Laureate, and global peacemaker.”

Full speech & remarks by  His Highness the Aga Khan

Former United Nations Secretary-General  Kofi Annan is warning that Syria’s increasingly sectarian civil war threatens to “explode” beyond its borders and that the remaining hope rests on forging the united international pressure for a political agreement that has eluded the world so far.

All countries must play a role in managing pluralism and diversity to deliver peace, security and prosperity in the 21st century, says  Kofi Annan, delivering the annual lecture at the Global Center for Pluralism.

“Diversity is a key source of strength for societies in a globalized world, helping them become healthier, more stable and more prosperous.”

“My long experience has taught me that, whatever our background, what unites us is far greater than what divides us. We have to learn from each other, making our different traditions and cultures a source of harmony and strength, not discord and weakness,”  said Kofi Annan

Annan warned that a failure to manage pluralism and diversity could create a real risk of increasing social tension and division, which, he said, could lead to violence and conflict or even genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Address by Kofi Annan at the Global Centre for Pluralism, 23rd May 2013

The Global Centre for Pluralism has an extremely important mandate, and I feel priviledged to participate in its work.

Globalization has brought us closer together. In the 21st century, we live for the first time in one global community. 

But it is a community composed of many strands which must be carefully woven together into a whole.

If diversity is seen as a source of strength, societies can become healthier, more stable and prosperous.     

But there is another side of the coin if we fail to manage the conflicting pressures that pluralism inevitably brings. 

Without the institutions and policies to manage diversity, whole communities can feel marginalized and oppressed, creating conditions for conflict and violence. 

This is why pluralism is a key challenge for the 21st century.

Some look at recent developments and claim that our world is becoming fragmented into different civilisations. 

I strongly disagree. I see the world coming together in one global civilisation, to which each of us brings our own traditions, cultures, and beliefs. 

My long experience has taught me that, whatever our background, what unites us is far greater than what divides us.

If diversity is seen as a source of strength, societies can become healthier, more stable and prosperous. 

Source Kofi Annan Foundation.

Mr. Annan spent five months last year as the UN and Arab League envoy trying to negotiate  peace in Syria, but he resigned in August, saying that a lack of unified international support had hobbled his mission and Syria’s civil war likely to explode states Mr. Annan during the lecture.  Source @ The Globe and Mail

UN security council pressure on Syria was “premature”, that  Moscow  would use its veto to block any initiatives on foreign military interference and Children are being maimed, sexually assaulted and used as human shields according to the UN. In its  annual report on children and armed conflict  Coalition to Protect Education from Attack the UN says children have been the victims of both opposition and the government forces, but most of its criticism concerns forces loyal to President Assad in Syria crisis.

To view full lecture by  Kofi Annan & His Highness The Agakhan  dialogue & discussion video with John Stackhouse on diversity and peace in the 21st century.

The overall mission for  Global Centre for Pluralism  as stated on the website:
“The Global Centre for Pluralism is a global destination for dialogue about the foundations and benefits of inclusive citizenship. Advancing respect for diversity as a new global ethic is our mission. Inspiring leadership for pluralism through knowledge exchange is our work.” source Global Centre for Pluralism
 Kofi Annan Africa @mymulticast

#KofiAnnan #Africa @mymulticast

My quest in finding an end point safety  solution and building a portal just for innocent children and women who are now at risk, when it comes to the future of digital landscape and for those of us who work with  innocent children, teenagers & women globally must also adopt best practice standard tools.  My whole reason for my quest  is to support those non-profits & youth groups,  NGOs who work with innocent humanity in developing countries so we has global leaders are keeping many  innocent children, youth and women safe from the cyber intruders and dangers  currently taking place over via the Internet.
I believe more needs to be done for ALL  innocent children & women in developing countries.  I am working for the last few years and support those organizations that need my support – ultimately it can get costly to just do it as one person.  The vision for protecting innocent humanity  in developing countries, should be a priority by  providing them with their end point safety rights  and it should not be looked as a monetary cost instead we should look at it so we avoid more human cost.
We use many of these social media sites,  we connect with users some we know and some we have no clue who they are over many of these  social media networking sites. I know for a fact there is a dark side of the Internet and from an end point of view some of are not all that safe. As I speak of these cyber danger threats we face,  they target me also…. I wonder how many innocent women, children & youth in developing countries understand that cyber dangers  are taking place over the Internet and social sites?  I wonder how many small non-profit organizations  who also run & set up  schools actually know,  how they can protect innocent children and women from these cyber dangers?
We live in a new digital information  age and era, my observation is that many global organizations who are working with their community members globally don’t practice best standards when it comes to digital landscape and may be putting  innocent children and women they work with at risk ? I believe many of these global NGOS & non-profits may need to  adopt best practice standards technologies, especially when it concerns  innocent children & women they work with — be it in the educational & social media  sector in many parts of the  developing & developed countries.  I believe  there is a need for a solution for end point safety right  and I believe it falls under the  human rights mandate as they and we all bridge the  digital divide.   Many global leaders without fully understand cyber threats or dangers  may be putting innocent humanity  in  danger and at risk   I see images of children being posted on social sites without their consent or their parents consent I guess we are all crossing a fine line when we want to impact humanity, but without fully understand how cyber criminals….. think of  them as humanity not as products or commodities these are   “innocent children, young teenagers and women in developing countries who also need to be protected from cyber dangers…… Ashie Hirji
In the case of Facebook and cyber bullying  catch my post : Justice for Rehtaeh  when it comes to young girls who are faced with cyber bullying & cyber dangers  including criminals who exploit innocent children, girls and women for their human trafficking trade activities……..
You may be wondering what Pluralism got to do with Human Trafficking ? – well  I am trying to get the attention of  Kofi Annan & His Highness the Agakhan  as we live in the information age we need to also consider some parts of the developing countries are not ready to tackle the human trafficking criminals” that run their business over the Internet.  For  the last few years I have reach out to AKDN to give me a chance and present to their  top management with a solution and that they cannot  ignore individuals & women like us, who are working in the  secure digital sector  and at least give women like me a chance to present them with a solution I have developed. for their organization as they work with many schools globally and I believe they can open  doors for people like us that can contribute a lot.
I have been working away and  without much support  and have a  “solution how best to  protect those innocent children, teenagers & women”  especially  in many of the  developing countries  and we  can protect millions of innocent children, girls and women,  so they don’t fall in the wrong hands or be  exploited by unethical individuals  over the Internet.. Ashie Hirji
Human Trafficking is a global problem and human trafficking is a widespread problem with estimates ranging from 14,000 to 50,000 individuals trafficked into the United States annually. This hidden population involves the commercial sex industry, agriculture, factories, hotel and restaurant businesses, domestic workers, marriage brokers, and some adoption firms. Because 80% of trafficked individuals are women and girls, women’s health care providers may better serve their diverse patient population by increasing their awareness of this problem. The exploitation of people of any race, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is unacceptable at any time, in any place. The members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists should be aware of this problem and strive to recognize and assist their patients who are victims or who have been victims of human trafficking.  Source:  PDF Format

His Highness the Aga Khan speaks @the Luxor International  Forum on Human Trafficking

Over two hundred years ago, the trafficking of human beings was considered a violation against humanity. Today, it still is. Despite increasing global attention and
significant – albeit fractured – national responses, human trafficking remains a tragic reality with wide-ranging social, economic and legal implications that affect all segments of society. While the primary responsibility for eliminating human trafficking rests with the State, an effective response requires the holistic participation of society as a whole. In this regard, the business community plays a fundamental role, and its commitment to combat human trafficking is crucial to the eradication of this terrible scourge. By adopting a zero-tolerance approach within their own companies’ activities, businesspeople can help minimize the irreparable damage that this illicit trade causes to its victims. When a broad range of stakeholders tackles the issue, the reach and effectiveness of anti-trafficking measures are consequently increased on all levels. More about the Business Leader’s Award Fight Human Trafficking  a project of  UN.GIFT.HUB

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Annual Pluralism Lecture | 2013

Pluralism: A Key Challenge of the 21st Century

Dear Friends,

On May 23, 2013, the Centre held its second Annual Pluralism Lecture in Ottawa. This year’s speaker – Nobel Peace laureate and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – is a member of our Board of Directors.

A video of the complete Annual Pluralism Lecture program is available on our newly launched website, along with a pre-lecture interview with Mr. Annan.

To see more, click here or visit www.pluralism.ca

“I believe that the challenge of pluralism is never completely met. Pluralism is a process and not a product. It is a mentality, a way of looking at a diverse and changing world. A pluralistic environment is a kaleidoscope that history shakes every day… As we think about pluralism, we should be open to the fact that there may be a variety of “best practices,” a “diversity of diversities,” and a “pluralism of pluralisms.” Address by His Highness the Aga Khan at the 10th Annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture  15/10/2010